Poet and editor Chiwan Choi was born in Seoul, Korea. He immigrated to Paraguay at the age of five and shortly thereafter to the United States. He earned an MFA at New York University.
In his work, Choi engages themes of community, racism, exile, and family. He is author of the poetry collections The Flood (2010) and Abductions (2012). In 2015, with the support of Katz’s Deli in Santa Monica, he composed the book/performance piece Ghostmaker. Choi read and then destroyed each chapter of the book over the course of a year, replacing the original text with a collaborative text composed by audience members recording their experiences as witnesses of the work at each performance.
After publishing two books of poems, Choi sought to share his work beyond the traditional book-focused model of poetry publishing. In a 2013 interview with Joseph Lapin for LA Weekly, Choi muses, "If I just got rid of any idea of form or structure, could I connect with the reader as immediately as possible?" With the goal of increasing accessibility, Choi began to share his work through Facebook, friends’ tattoos, and mural art.
Choi is cofounding editor of Writ Large Press, which also organizes literary gatherings in downtown Los Angeles, including the Grand Park Downtown BookFest, the publishing project PUBLISH!, and the Downtown Literary Alchemy Laboratory. His columns have appeared in Cultural Weekly. Choi lives in Los Angeles.